Ranger Tom Schmit; Credit: Yannick Stirn

Upper Sûre Nature Park announced today the arrival of its newest team member: Tom Schmit, Luxembourg's first ranger.

Through the financial support of the Department of Spatial Planning (DATer) of Luxembourg's Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, the ranger will be present on the beaches around Upper Sûre Lake during the summer months to inform, raise awareness and, if necessary, alert visitors in the event of rule breaches. He will also travel to the five member municipalities of the Upper Sûre Nature Park (Boulaide, Esch-sur-Sûre, Lac de la Haute-Sûre, Winseler and Wiltz) as well as Goesdorf, which is a candidate for membership, and will fulfil his role as contact person, among other things.

During a visit to the Upper Sûre Nature Park, Luxembourg's Minister for Spatial Planning, Claude Turmes, wished the ranger every success in his new role. The minister stated: "Today I would like to welcome the first ranger of the Upper Sûre Nature Park. He will play an important role in cohabitation at the Upper Sûre lake as an intermediary and contact person for inhabitants, tourists and administrations. I wish Tom every success in carrying out this captivating mission in one of the most beautiful places in our country".

Orientation of visitors and contact person

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were often large crowds of visitors to Upper Sûre Lake, leading to traffic issues and rubbish being left on beaches. Whilst the ranger alone cannot be the solution to these problems, this new position offers the Upper Sûre Nature Park a number of possibilities to keep an eye on what is happening on the site, to raise awareness and to be able to intervene in the event of inappropriate behaviour. In addition, the on-site presence is expected to facilitate exchange with visitors and residents, help document visitor flows and monitor existing measures aimed at improving the management of visitor flows and overall management of the lake.

Awareness and information

Thanks to the ranger, the Upper Sûre Nature Park is now able to offer visitors and residents a well-informed contact regarding the regulations in force in terms of water, environmental and landscape protection. In addition, guided tours and awareness-raising workshops are planned.

Cooperation and supervision

The ranger will spend a large part of his working time outdoors. On the one hand, this involves checking the hiking trails and the corresponding signage as well as tourist equipment such as benches and bins and, on the other hand, he will provide support for the monitoring of the new protection zones of the Upper Sûre Lake and accompanying measures.

In addition, the ranger must, if necessary, inform the competent authorities in certain situations in order to ensure compliance with the regulations. He may also provide important support to the rescue services in the event of forest fires or other fires.

The Upper Sûre Nature Park and the new ranger role are based on close collaboration with the municipalities and various administrations, security agents, tourism stakeholders and educational establishments - all in the spirit of sustainable development in the region.